Debugging With the GNU Debugger

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Information about Debugging With the GNU Debugger

Published on March 5, 2014

Author: goakley123



Slides from a lecture on the debugging process and using the GDB.

GNU Debugger Glen Oakley

What is a debugger?

The Four Things ● ● ● ● Start your program Make your program stop Examine what has happened Change things in your program

Your Things ● ● ● ● ● ● Start your program Break / Watch Checkpoint Next / Step / Continue Backtrace Print


Debugging Flow ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Testing Brute-forcing Identify symptom - what happened? Identify problem - why? Locate problem Blame someone (else) Fix problem Repeat with the new problems

GDB Execution ● Run program in ‘virtual’ environment ● Run until ○ Termination ○ Breakpoint ● Flow control ● State Information

Commands ● Run ○ Execute program with args ○ Redirection ● Backtrace ○ Stack trace of your location in the program ○ Identify where crash happened

Example verbose_array.c

Commands ● Break ○ Location at which to halt the program ○ Breaks before execution of statement(s) ● Watch ○ Monitors a variable for changes ○ Requires variable to be in scope ● Clear ○ Remove breakpoints

Commands ● Checkpoint ○ Store the state of the program ○ Programs can be restarted at checkpoints ● Step ○ Step through the program line by line ● Next ○ Execute the next line in the current frame ○ Does not step through sub-functions

Example osh.c

Commands ● Print ○ ○ ○ ○ Show the state of memory/variables Works with array and struct/union notation Will assume c-strings when applicable @ can be used on arrays for grouping prints ● Set Var ○ Change memory/variables ● Continue ○ Run until another break/watch point is triggered

Example sudoku.c

Recap ● Debugging process is unavoidable ● GDB provides assistance ○ If I see one more stray printf()... ● Basic flow control commands ○ Allow tracing a stopped program ○ Set breakpoints to stop the program ○ Enable querying/modifying the program state

Thanks! @goakley123

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